British bookmaking giant William Hill’s Manila office is under investigation after being accused of “illegal gambling activities.” William Hill denies any wrongdoing.
According to The Telegraph, the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation is leading an investigation into claims that the Manila service centre is involved in illegal gambling activities in the Philippines.
Gambling in the Philippines is restricted by government, with many forms banned. However, there are no current laws prohibiting online gambling so it is technically legal.
William Hill issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange on November 3 stating:
“William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces that its Manila service centre operation has been served with notice that it is the subject of an investigation by the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation into allegations relating to the carrying out of illegal gambling activities in the Philippines.
“The Manila operation provides customer support and back office functions, primarily for the Group's Online business. With regards to these allegations, we believe that there are no activities occurring in our Philippines operation which are contrary to law.
“In the Philippines, William Hill is a member of the Government-run PEZA scheme (Philippine Economic Zone Authority), which incentivises businesses, on a fully transparent basis, to establish and run operations in the Philippines. William Hill complies with local laws and applies consistent global policies for its operations to abide by.
“The operations of the facility were suspended when notice was served. William Hill has implemented business continuity measures to provide cover for key operational services provided by our Manila operation and is working over the short term to ensure that all services are covered to our normal standard. At this stage we are comfortable with our expectations for 2014 and will update the market as necessary.”
Shares in William Hill fell by a mere 0.67% after the announcement, much less than one would anticipate. Perhaps investors are still buoyed by the news of William Hill’s third quarter operating profits surging by 89%.